Saturday, May 3, 2014

How to Pick the Best Garden Vegetable Seeds

One of the rituals of spring is picking out seeds for the garden. Until you have some experiencing it is always a challenge to pick the best varieties and seed. 

Here are a few tips...

  1. We always select seed bred for our growing zone. Here in Rochester, MN we are zone 4. Seed for your zone will be more hardy and adapted to your growing conditions. This is especially important for perennials.
  2. The next guideline is to determine what you are growing for and pick the appropriate variety. For example, if it is a home variety and the space is limited, perhaps a bush variety of cucumbers is just the ticket.
  3. I also like to get the varieties with the best disease resistance. We are not going to have options to "nuke" our vegetables with spray if we are growing organiclly so this is important, especially with tomatoes and other veggies susceptible to diseases.
  4. After all that I look for the most expensive varieties. This is not a time to pinch pennies as they tend to have the best yields. The are expensive for a reason, typically superior genetics. 
  5. Some of the seed sold "off the rack" in your favorite garden center are not very good varieties.
  6. I also request organic or untreated seed.
  7. Try mail order from Johnny's or Peaceful Valley Farm Supply. They tend to have better selection and varieties than just buying "off the rack". I buy about 80 percent of my seeds from Johnny's.

Good seed is one of the major keys to growing success.

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